Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Jack Smith Memorial Singing

Oakhurst Baptist Church, Decatur, Georgia

Monday, May 28, 2018

The 18th annual Jack Smith Memorial Singing was held on Monday, Memorial Day, at Oakhurst Baptist Church in Decatur, Georgia. John Plunkett led 59. Eric Tweedy offered the opening prayer.

John welcomed the class and spoke briefly about Jack Smith, a devoted Sacred Harp singer and publicist, and a member of Oakhurst Baptist Church. John recalled that Jack enthusiastically invited people to singings and engaged Hugh McGraw to come to Oakhurst to conduct a singing school. Through his efforts, Jack brought many Atlanta and Decatur area singers into the Sacred Harp community, including John himself and our vice-chairman, Joan Durdin. Throughout the day, other singers added their own stories and recollections about him. The singing takes place on Memorial Day, and John reminded the class that May 29 is the also anniversary of Hugh McGraw’s death. Thus the day and the singing became a time of remembrance for everyone present, with people adding their own particular stories as we sang.

Leaders: John Plunkett 225t (in memory of Hugh McGraw); Joan Durdin 155, 479; Malinda Snow 32t, 73b; Tony Hammock 30b, 267; Nina Burris 288, 335; Chris Tweedy 100, 156; Anne Grosse 178, 503; Daniel Williams 502, 183; Helen Bryson 299, 365; Kathe Pilibosian 422.


Joan Durdin reconvened the class leading 448b. Leaders: Lisa Bennett 242, 410t; Kevin Kleinfelter 117; Jerusha Wheeler 318, 319; Susan Posey 148, 362; Guy Bankes 351, 352; David Smead 346, 271b; Samuel Williams 315, 26; Susan Kleinfelter 192, 142; Eric Tweedy 52b, 182; Amy Wells 272, 56b. Judy Mincey asked the blessing before lunch.


John Plunkett reconvened the class leading 145t. Leaders: Judy Mincey 144, 534; Chris Holley 33t (remembering veterans), 348b; Debra Grosse 358, 128 (in honor of George Burnette and remembering his enslaved ancestors who were singers); Anders Wells 110, 99; Laura Akerman 28b, 436; Laura Densmore 522, 311; Susan Firestone 504, 143; Carol Buche 157, 547 (remembering Cheryl Elsey); Fran Adams 159, 455; Corinne Wells 354b; Helen Bryson 313b; Anne Grosse 49b.


Joan Durdin led 29t to reconvene the class. Leaders: Samuel Williams 440; Tony Hammock 196; David Smead 197; Amy Wells 112; Malinda Snow 107; Chris Tweedy 101t; Susan Firestone 475; Eric Tweedy 300; Carol Buche 58; Daniel Williams 74t; Nina Burris 84; Anders Wells 76b; Guy Bankes 77t; Lisa Bennett 137; Chris Holley 500 (in memory of Lt. Col. Travis Fuller, killed at Falujah); Kathe Pilibosian 75; Laura Densmore 349; Judy Mincey 40.

After announcements, John Plunkett and Joan Durdin led 56t. Amy Wells dismissed the class with prayer.

Chairman—John Plunkett; Vice Chairman—Joan Durdin; Secretary—Malinda Snow